Project of the Year

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Power House


Located in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, this industrial power house was completed in 1905 as one of four main buildings designed by the architectural firm of Nimmons & Fellows for the Sears, Roebuck and Company world headquarters. This structure generated steam, electricity and compressed air, providing power to the entire 55-acre complex. Following the company’s relocation to the Sears Tower in 1973, the power house declined in use and was fully decommissioned in 2004. Developer Charles H. Shaw and the Homan Arthington Foundation partnered with the Henry Ford Learning Institute to create an adaptive use plan that converted the former power house into a state-of-the-art educational facility. As part of the rehabilitation, original machinery was documented and portions were preserved for incorporation into the classrooms and common areas. The school opened its doors to students this fall, offering a math and science based curriculum that prepares students for the future while paying homage to Chicago’s early technological success.

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